The song that saw KRS-One dream he was a blunt
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The song that saw KRS-One dream he was a blunt

KRS-One is one of the purest hip-hop heads of all time. The iconic South Bronx, whose name stands for ‘Knowledge Reigns Supreme’ (KRS), is considered one of the forefathers of conscious rap music and was one of New York’s most potent solo lyricists during the 1980s. His legendary status will never be shaken.

The emcee (real name Lawrence Parker) was half of the duo BDP (Boogie Down Productions) alongside his late crewmate Scott La Rock and, accompanied by Rakim, changed the way musicians approach lyricism concerning creativity and complexity.

Parker is also a proud pan-Africanist who, unlike many rappers, is interested and invested in the advancement of black people worldwide as opposed to the microcosm of the US.

KRS-One first entered hip-hop as a graffiti artist, then transitioned into rap upon meeting DJ and producer Scott La Rock, together forming the group and label Boogie Down Productions (BDP). In 1987, they released their debut album, Criminal Minded.

However, La Rock was shot later that year after entering a beef between a BDP member and a local Bronx gangster. KRS-One would quickly decide to pursue a solo career, although still partially under the moniker Boogie Down Productions.

As KRS-One, the first album he released was Return Of The Boom Bap. The project encapsulates the East Coast sound of the 1990s, features heavy production by DJ Premier, and was recorded at the legendary D&D Studios. 

One of the early tracks on the project is ‘I Can’t Wake Up’ which is a conceptual song. The lyrics hear Parker explain a dream where he is blunt. In the dream, KRS-One talks about various rappers passing him around and smoking him, including De La Soul, Cypress Hill, House of Pain, Redman, and Kid Capri.

Parker raps verses such as, “I’m tryin’ to wake up, I can’t wake up / So I run and jump / Someone yelled get that blunt / So I’m running and racing / Blunt smokers are chasing / This is insane, I’m caught by House Of Pain / I’m picked up.”

It’s not unusual for a songwriter to put himself into the body of another character. But for a rapper like KRS-One to imagine himself as a blunt being passed around was a huge leap. Thankfully, what came out of it was a track that has lived on among hip hop heads throughout the globe.

You can listen to ‘I Can’t Wake Up’ in the video below.